The AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) hotels and resorts in Visakhapatnam district that resumed operations after a prolonged lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have been able to register barely 35% occupancy on an average. Similar is the case with private hotels too. Under normal circumstances, the facilities are fully booked two to three months ahead of the Dasara vacation.
“The patronage is picking up slowly but lack of regular trains and limited flights has made a huge dent in tourist arrivals, particularly Bengali tourists, who come in large groups during Dasara. We do not see much improvement this season but hope to attract more tourists by December-end,” Tourism divisional manager T.G. Prasad Reddy tells The Hindu.
“Only business visitors who have no escape from travel are coming but they too are preferring to go back as soon as possible, local sight-seeing is no longer on their priority list,” says Muralikrishna, a tour operator in the city.
Government word awaited
Movie theatres, on the other hand, did not reopen even after being permitted to screen films from October 15. The exhibitors in the State, at a meeting in Vijayawada, resolved not to reopen cinemas till the State government gives a firm assurance on relaxing power tariff and certain other concessions in view of the pandemic situation, which allows them to utilise only 50% of the seats. However, later a few theatres have opened.